Mark Bellis

Flexi-track ideas

52 posts in this topic

We've had Flexi-track for a good couple of years now.

Has anyone found the best ways to use it?

(I had a go)

One of its design intents is that a child can always make a circuit, but what about AFOL aspirations?

Do we use it for wide radius curves according to another of its design intents?

(Photos anyone?)

Do we like it, suffer it or ignore it?

- Has anyone made the best of the check rails by making street trams?

Who has deliberately bought more Flexi-track in addition to what comes with a train set?

Mark

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I and I'm sure many, dislike them. They are very noisy pieces. Member, 'kyphur', a while back used them in a few ways. Starting with "Found a use for my hated flex track!", in a bridge MOC, and various other places on his awesome layout. I plan to level mine with plates and use them as a separate, inner city loop line for my, non-motorized, tram from 8404 Public Transportation default_classic.gif

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Back when I only had an Emerald Night and some track, I did this wide curve:

308978208518.jpg308977698518.jpg308978973518.jpg

And I still use it for wide curves in tandem with straights, end of line bumpers and lots of little adjustments where curves and straights don't fit:

2011-10-14%252015.35.37.jpg2011-10-14%252015.34.02.jpg2011-10-14%252015.37.43.jpg

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I use the Flex Track under my EOL Buffers, for level crossings, for my Train Bridge (the deck of the bridge as well as the inclines on either side) and in my switching & freight yards for all of the track except curves and switches, the curves of my Wye are also Flex Track. When I build my Train Tunnel I'll use it in there also.

Here is my flickr with images.

I have purchased hundreds of pieces off BrickLink and even traded some 9v track for Flex track! In all I own somewhere in excess of 1,300 pieces with 975 pieces already installed on my layout!

Yes it's noisy but then again trains are supposed to be noisy aren't they?

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Unfortunately I use 9v layout, but if I would heva plastic only version I would certainly consider som uses.

This, for example:

flex1.jpg

I know its ugly, but its also very stable, because it uses flex sgment just as straight 1/4 track segments.

3 curve radius is also possible, but not so stable:

flex2.jpg

DBG plates should be used for nicer look of course.

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I haven't used mine on my layout yet, but as I make the switch to using more PF trains, I suspect I will find myself using it more to get unique track geometry. I just haven't had the time to give it an honest go.

-- Davey --

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FWIW, even 9v guys can use Flex track under their EOL Buffers.

If a 9v guy wanted to use it for the Wide Curves then I imagine they could use the same metallic tape trick I've seen used for the PF Straights as the gaps in the Flex track are small enough that I doubt the wheels loose complete contact with the track.

Edited by kyphur

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On purely economic grounds I use flextrack in a 2:2 ratio with straight tracks for a 20% saving on straights. On a floor layout 2:2 gives a fairly good balance between flexibility (resistance to kicks and nudges) and rigidity (maintaining geometry).

Also handy as 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 straights.

I have avoided long sections of flextrack as I found trains stopped on flextrack had insufficient traction to get going again, but that may have been an issue with the early harder rubber rings on the PF wheels, I haven't tried long sections with new-style rubber rings or 3rd party replacements. I guess kyphur and ZueriHB have not had this problem?

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I bought an extra 64 pieces of ebay at about 10.00 posted (cant resist a bargain) but I like the 9v trains i have so I try and avoid them. but with the double crossover's I bought (they were new and only £22.00 for a set posted) I may just move to powerfunctions and limit the 9v to one loop or so.

I wouldnt as yet buy anymore on there own but maybe in the future!!

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After trying it out and owning it myself I actually like it in certain areas of the track and I can experiment with different layout options. :classic:

The only downside is that it is noisy whenever a train will go over it, especially long sections.

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Flextrack - ugly, noisy but extremely useful.

Many track configurations are impossible or take much more space without it. I try to avoid using more than 3 pieces in a row though, except for sidings.

:classic: :classic:

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(..)

I have avoided long sections of flextrack as I found trains stopped on flextrack had insufficient traction to get going again, but that may have been an issue with the early harder rubber rings on the PF wheels, I haven't tried long sections with new-style rubber rings or 3rd party replacements. I guess kyphur and ZueriHB have not had this problem?

I still try to avoid long sections of flex track, because of the aforementioned problem. But the newer O-rings have less traction problems. 9V motors tough... it's too much for my metro liner.

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Yes, I have tested single pieces of flexi track in a 9v layout using copper sticky tape. No problems to report with conductivity. Sorry no pictures yet as layout having major rebuild!

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I have used it in a similar way to others, for buffers, filling small gaps where stuff does not line up quite etc. But I have to admit that I do not really like it, mainly down to it looking so un-track like, it does not look like it fits with the rest of the system.

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Flextrack - ugly, noisy but extremely useful.

Exactly what I popped in here to write.

My use of it always includes heavy sighing.

I hate how it detracts from the railed look. It REALLY stands out.

But when I was setting up my Christmas Tree layout I used it throughout. It's effective.

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I hate how it detracts from the railed look. It REALLY stands out.

But when I was setting up my Christmas Tree layout I used it throughout. It's effective.

I can't help but wonder if it's physically possibly to create a similarly functional flex track piece that actually looks like the regular track pieces? If it were possible why would Lego not have done so?

I don't actually have any flex pieces yet so I can't comment on how I love or hate them, but I do plan on buying the straight and flex track set hopefully soon so I'll end up with some. I actually can't imagine not having some sort of flexible track piece available to fix those little bits that just don't line up right. Besides, the pictures I've seen of people making really wide curves using just straight track pieces looks rather silly to me too, so which really looks worse?

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I built this flex-track balloon loop with a raised trackbed. In this case the flextrack works in my favour as you can't see there is nothing under the middle of the track.

IMG_0451 (Mobile).JPG

Larger

There are also other possibilities to explore. Banked track for a roller coaster perhaps?

IMG_0452 (Mobile).JPG

Larger

:classic: :classic:

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I built this flex-track balloon loop with a raised trackbed. In this case the flextrack works in my favour as you can't see there is nothing under the middle of the track.

IMG_0451 (Mobile).JPG

Larger

There are also other possibilities to explore. Banked track for a roller coaster perhaps?

IMG_0452 (Mobile).JPG

Larger

:classic: :classic:

I was thinking about doing this pretty soon.. I want to do a high speed run across my living room, with a turnaround like this at each end. My cats *HATE* the trains. It's wonderful.

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I've got the flexi-track from the Yellow Cargo Train; and also from a straight & flexible track pack. I was surprised how well it worked on my carpet, because I expected it not to stay as rigid as the straight or curved tracks.

I like that I can use it to make the layout more flexible and moveable since it is on my living room floor and when it gets knocked a bit having some forgiveness is nice. It is also nice to be able to use it as either straight or curved.

I have a big oval (with a switch) and nothing fancy, that my kids play with, so I expect that I am TLG's target audience for this piece, but I can see how it is frustrating not to be able to easily get regular curves outside of the starter sets or switch track set.

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I can see how it is frustrating not to be able to easily get regular curves outside of the starter sets or switch track set.

I can't imagine anyone making this complaint. I have tons of extra Curve pieces and will probably never use all of them. If you really need more Curves then just visit BrickLink, there is no shortage...

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Flex track is awesome: fills gaps, makes bigger curves, and eliminates hassle with geometry.

Standard curves - I have so many I'm going to give some to the nearest charity shop, hopefully bring some benefit to other people :wink:

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This is how I use flex-tracks :

mylayout.png

Like Cwetqo, I use them as a small straight track, with a plate 2 x 6. It allows some nice geometries without any tweaking.

Edited by Skanzo Sylan

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Being very new to LEGO trains and currently building up our collection. We have just received our Maersk train and I have ,over the last couple of months, started building up our stocks of track by ordering a box set each 7499, 7895 and 8867 each month. This is starting to give us a healthy start in flexitrack and track in general.

Fascinating insight into flexitrack which confirms to me that it is again another great product from LEGO. Noise does not bother me at all. I had one query, on the LEGO website there are a number of descenting comments to flexitrack specifically about derailments especially on the Maersk train. I'm not sure if I should take these comments too seriously. I have not run the Maersk train as yet (awaiting the arrival of the cargo tain set) however a close friend has quite a collection of Lego Trains and much of his layout has flexitrack installed and he has not had any problems at all. Seeing it with my own eyes I must say its a cracking product. Now he currently runs the Passneger train and the two cargo trains (yellow and Red)and for the hours we and our kids played I did not witnessa single derailment....well not on the flex track anyway. Would be interested to hear what you chaps have to say about it.

I remember back to my days of when I started collecting N Gauge, (which sadly never got off the ground due to space, time and costs. For us Lego has changed all that)I had purchased some excellent Model Railroader publications on track design and installation and I always remember the in depth explanation on radius factor and track spacing.It occurs to me the same would apply to LEGO and especially LEGO Flexitrack. Make the radius too tight and you are going to have problems just as you would have with N Gauge or HO flexitrack form PECO especially if you do not take the wheel base of your locos as well as rolling stock. If I remember it rightly, In a turn lets say a righ hand curve, the left hand side body face of your train at the midpoint between bogeys should not overhang past the left rail. If it does the curve is too tight. I think this is right but will check. Point being as Lego Trains we should follow these recommendations.

Edited by LegoMavrick

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@LegoMavrick,

great advice, thanks :)

Like I say I am going to check this as I know I have an excellent diagram giving radius recommendations and also max overhang from rolling stock and lococs.

@AussieJimbo, I see modern track laying actually incorporates a banking into turns nowadays so very cool that you can get this effect with Lego Flexitrack. I see Railbrick has an excellent ballast guide.

Edited by LegoMavrick

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